The Circumstances You Can Terminate Spousal Support or Alimony in BC

couple separating

When a couple divorces or separates, the court may order one spouse to pay the other spouse spousal support. Spousal support is intended to recognize the economic contribution of each spouse to the marriage or relationship and to help the economically disadvantaged spouse maintain a similar standard of living after the divorce or separation.

If you are the recipient of permanent spousal support in BC and wish to have it terminated, you can do so under certain circumstances. However, there are other circumstances under which spousal support can be terminated, so it is best to speak to a BC spousal support lawyer to learn more about your specific rights and obligations.

Retirement

Spousal support may be terminated if the paying spouse retires. The court must determine if the paying spouse can afford to support the other spouse after retirement and if the paying spouse has made an honest effort to support the other spouse after retirement. The court will also consider the age of the paying spouse, the length of the marriage, the health of the spouse, the financial needs of the spouse, and the ability of the spouse to become self-supporting.

Remarriage

If the spouse receiving support remarries, the court may terminate the support. The court must consider the financial needs and the new spouse’s income. The court also may consider the length of the marriage and the health of the spouse. If the spouse does not remarry, the support may continue.

Death of the Paying Spouse

If the paying spouse dies, the court may terminate the support. The court must consider the financial needs and the health of the spouse. The court also may consider the length of the marriage and the health of the spouse’s children.

Disability

If you have a mental or psychological disability that prevents you from working, you may be able to get a reduction or elimination of spousal support. You will need to provide your medical records and possibly get a medical opinion about your disability and how it affects your ability to work.

In many cases, you will need a more detailed note from your doctor in order to provide evidence of your condition and how it affects your ability to work. You would need to apply with the Supreme Court of BC or the Provincial Court of BC to reduce or end your spousal support payments.

Increase in Child Support Obligations

If your children’s university expenses increase your financial burden, you can petition the court to lower or end your spousal support payments. This will help you to be able to afford your children’s education. These applications can be dangerous because they might reduce or terminate spousal support or alimony payments in BC.

The Bottom Line

There are a few ways to terminate spousal support or alimony in BC. The most common way is to reach a permanent or final agreement with your former spouse. This can be done through negotiation, mediation, or arbitration. If you can’t reach an agreement, you can go to court and ask for a judge to decide. Another way to terminate spousal support is if your former spouse dies or you get married or enter into a new common-law relationship.

Do you need an alimony lawyer? Dreyer Davison Lawyers LLP is committed to preserving the best interests of families across the Fraser Valley and the Lower Mainland. We have diverse experience across family law, wills and estates, and residential conveyancing. Get in touch with us.

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